White paper_Sales Efficiency


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A white paper I authored in 2008 for Strategex Inc., a Chicago-based consulting firm. This paper outlines the essential steps to achieve sales efficiency. It encourages businesses to use dedicated "business developers" for lead generation.

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White paper_Sales Efficiency

  1. 1. LegendSM Whitepaper 2008Sales Efficiency:A Best-Practice Approach to Sales SuccessIt is a business imperative that sales people work at maximum efficiency.No one can argue with this statement, especially in an uncertain economy.To increase potential for success and based on attributes relating to his values, team, not to sell a product or service.improve your bottom line, you need to or- attitudes and interests. This understanding When crafting a discussion guide, we findganize your resources intelligently. Trained will be crucial later on when developing it beneficial to adapt the message to eachsales professionals are most suited to en- your message. audience. We consider what will resonategage customers in person. There they can with an administrative assistant or compel It is important, however, to recognize thatmake the most impactful presentation of an executive to accede to an appointment. even the best of lists is imperfect. By ob-your product or service. Sales efficiency In so doing, we make gatekeepers our taining data from a reliable, industry-testeddemands a business development strate- allies rather than barriers to our goal. In source such as LexisNexis or Dun & Brad-gy that encompasses a separate group of essence, your message has to be lucid, street, you can improve upon your contactindividuals we call business developers, purposeful, and positioned to gain trust rate. Alternative lists from sources such aswhose sole purpose is to secure the audi- and secure agreement. business associations and conferencesence for your sales team. Your focus are equally pertinent and may be more tar-should be placing your sales team in front Be compelling – gain affinity with your geted and better suited to your businessof as many qualified prospects as possible. audience from the beginning needs. Fundamentally, your data shouldBusiness developers fulfill this critical sup- Be specific – offer a date and time for be as current and accurate as possible.porting role. appointments Define a Compelling Message Be prepared for changes – provideSource a Targeted List detailed contact particulars Central to every business developmentA targeted list is the single most important Be infectious – get excited about meet- strategy is a compelling message. Thefactor in calling campaigns aimed at in- ing decision makers message to your audience must focus oncreasing sales efficiency. It is the founda- their point of pain, as this will secure theirtion for every successful business devel- Identify the Right People immediate attention. Executing a successful business develop- These four elements define the best practice for a successful and well- ment strategy requires a unique type of timed business development strategy: individual. This is a highly skilled business List process, and it is vital that you assign the Message most appropriate person to your calling People campaign. Process The ideal business developer is confident, professional, and personable. He or she isopment strategy. Compromising this will To precisely relay your message and guide able to navigate through an organization,defeat even the best-laid strategy. your business developers, we strongly engage with people at various levels, and recommend that you create a discussionAn exceptional list starts with having a ultimately, persuade the decision maker. guide. This guide should articulate triggersclear understanding of your ideal custom- to gaining agreement, based on what you Effective business developers come fromer. Identify the characteristics of your best have identified as your customer’s pur- a wide range of backgrounds, and eachcustomer. Know who buys from you and chase motivations. It should also outline brings a wealth of experience that enableszero in on the decision maker in the com- the call approach, features of your product them to connect with your potential cus-pany. or service, and responses to objections. tomer. Our methodology is to enhanceA well-sourced list should define your ideal Be mindful that the purpose for every call these inherent skills through training, role-customer demographically, and also be is to secure the appointment for the sales playing, and effective motivation.
  2. 2. Manage the Process ConclusionThe final consideration for a successful A direct outcome of sales efficiency is in-business development strategy is a well- creased revenue and improved bottom-managed process. Appoint a campaign line results. We believe implementing amanager with whom you can form a part- well-conceived business developmentnership based on trust and a clear set of strategy using our best practice methodol-objectives from the onset. ogy is a powerful path to reaching your sales goals. Once your sales force is ableAnticipate your reporting and analysis to meet with qualified decision makers,needs, and build these into the discussion you stand to gain true bottom-line improve-guide and data-entry screen. Once calls ments.have commenced, monitor them and meetwith your campaign manager daily to re- Our Guidance, Your Growthview reports – both quantitative and quali- We are growth strategy experts. We createtative. customized strategies for mid-to-large sizedYour campaign manager must have a B2B organizations and give them actionablepulse on the campaign and be empowered plans for a solid return on investment. Forto address questions and respond deci- more information, contact Suellen Burton:sively to feedback from decision makers 312-551-0505, or visit www.strategex.com.and business developers alike. A success-ful implementation also tests variables inorder to maximize results.These include: Time of calls Leaving messages Recruiting the gatekeeper to help break through to the decision maker Revealing the purpose of your call only to the decision maker.Ultimately, you need to be very adaptableand ready to make strategic shifts in theprocess.Meeting weekly with the business devel-opment team is another useful practice.They are the voice of your brand and,through their interactions on the phone,possess key information about your mar-ket. Their feedback and suggestionsshould therefore factor highly in refiningthe campaign as it progresses.Another critical area is the confirmationprocess for an appointment. It needs to besimple, or it will undermine your entirecampaign. Multiple steps increase the like-lihood that a decision maker will changehis mind, and should therefore be avoid-ed.Finally, consider a multi-channel businessdevelopment strategy. Send direct mailprior to a calling campaign, and use this asa lead-in to calls. Alternatively, direct mailcan be another test variable in your overallstrategy.